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Grading and Promotion 01

July 13, 2012

I just recently received the kyu certs from Honbu Dojo, so it seems as good a time as any to grade my students!

Because I’m the one in charge of my class, I can tailor the class contents based on what my students need to qualify for their next grade promotion. Because I have some idea of what I want to see from my students, that means that if I gauge my lessons well (and teach properly, of course) my students can expect to be promoted every 3-6 months.

And if they don’t get promoted it would be because they haven’t been turning up or I have taught badly! 🙂

So what do I want to see from them next?

For the 8th kyu to qualify for 7th kyu, I want to see:

  • ability to use sui no kata, ka no kata and ku no kata (sanshin) decently. And that means they have to be able to hit respectably with the omote shuto, ura shuto and soku gyaku geri. Their opponents should not be able to stand there and say “You call that a hit? My mother hits harder than that!”
  • ability to make musha dori and oni kudaki (torite/gyaku waza) work consistently. The student also needs to be able to flow into those techniques from chi no kata and ka no kata.

For the 6th kyu and 5th kyu to go up one grade, I want to see:

  • ability to chain strikes from ka no kata (sanshin), especially the happo geri;
  • ability to make the chi ryaku no maki techniques work consistently, especially the following:
  1. O Gyaku
  2. Muso Dori
  3. Ura Onikudaki
  4. Gyaku Mushadori
  5. Koshi Nage
  6. Osoto Gake
  7. Uchi Mata
  8. Gyaku Nage
  9. Tomoe Nage

I’m more interested in consistent effectiveness than a wide range of techniques, so that is why that list from the Chi Ryaku no Maki is so abbreviated. Besides, there will be plenty of time to work on the rest of the Chi Ryaku material later on, in the later grades.

What this means

Because my emphasis in class is on the lower kyu materials, that means that I will not be able to teach the Chi Rayku materials as much as I would like. And that means that the mid kyu students may not be promoted as quickly as the rest of them. That is part of my overall training plan for this year.

However, I may promote a student after a significant period of time on one of the core weapons of Bujinkan, such as hanbo or sword. Significant in this case would be 8 or more lessons (over a span of 3 months) spent on a particular weapon, if they show that they are growing in skill in that particular weapon. That is what happened after all the hanbo lessons this season. I saw consistent growth in my students’ abilities and their deeper understanding of the torite after learning how to do them with the hanbo. So I promoted them.

Anyway, I’m planning to focus the lessons on kenjutsu (sword-work) in the last quarter of this year. I’ll see how they do before I decide whether that warrants another grading promotion. But looking at how they have been doing so far this year, I think it will go fine!


俊傑 (Shunketsu)


From → bujinkan

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